Virtues of St. Joseph

Monthly Themes for the Year of St. Joseph

Inspired by St. Joseph’s Virtues

Monthly Themes for the Year of St. Joseph

“St. Joseph listens to God’s directions for him, as spoken through the angel, and he puts those directives into action. St. Joseph listens to God and acts immediately.St. Joseph models for us the family’s vocation to holiness. Two elements to a healthy Christian family are serving God and then serving each other in the family.That is the vocation of each member of the family: to be holy. To serve God and to serve each other with care and devotion.”


Bishop Peter Jugis

Homily, Feast of the Holy Family, December 29, 2019

Sacred Scripture describes St. Joseph as “a Just man” (Matthew 1:19) which can also be translated as “righteous,” “upright,” or, “he who is virtuous in all things.” If we want to learn from St. Joseph, we must begin by imitating the virtues he practiced daily in his quiet, hidden life.

The monthly themes for the Year of St. Joseph are taken from St. Joseph’s virtues and titles as prayed in the Litany of St. Joseph (see below).

JanuaryMost Valiant Protector of the Church
FebruaryJoseph Most Chaste
MarchJoseph Most Just
AprilJoseph, Lover of Poverty
MayJoseph, Model of Workers
June Joseph Most Obedient and Head of Holy Family
JulyJoseph Most Faithful
AugustJoseph, Mirror of Patience
SeptemberJoseph Most Prudent
OctoberJoseph, Terror of Demons
NovemberJoseph, Patron of Dying and Solace of the Afflicted
December Joseph, Chaste Guardian of Virgins and Pillar of Families

January – Most Valiant Protector of Church  

St. Joseph had the entire Church under his protection since the Holy Family was the Church. Our Lady is the Mother and Image of the Church, the Holy Spirit the soul of the Church and Christ the Church’s head. To Joseph this treasure was entrusted and by his wit, his obedience and his sacrifice he valiantly defended them.

February – Joseph Most Chaste

Chaste love requires that one wills the good to another without taking the other to oneself as one’s own. To Joseph was entrusted the Divine Child and His fairest Mother. Chaste in body but also in heart, Joseph loved freely which created the interior tranquility of order in the Holy Family.

March – Joseph Most Just

Joseph was first and foremost just unto God, rendering to Him what was His due. Since all things are due to God, Joseph was perfectly religious in prayer, in labor, and in love giving to God, even as an infant, the energy of his whole life.

April – Lover of Poverty

Joseph could count on nothing in this world to be his stay. Neither his trade nor property were employed in his first years as father of the Divine child. He had to abandon all that was his and provide for them in whatever way was possible as they were on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, to Egypt, and finally to Nazareth.

May – Model of Workers

We must not simply intend love, we must labor to fulfill love’s demands. Beneficence, laboring for the good of another, in Joseph’s case was direct labor for God. Working in Adam’s curse by the sweat of his brow was replete with purpose as it was all done to feed, to clothe, to shelter God Himself.

June – Joseph Most Obedient and Head of Holy Family

All authority is borrowed except for the Author himself. One can only be a just head of a family, be it natural or religious, if one is first obedient to the Word himself. Joseph’s perfect obedience rendered him the perfect Head of the Holy Family.  

July – Joseph Most Faithful

Fidelity connotes steadfastness. In the vicissitudes of life, one needs steadfast love, that is, fidelity, when encountering confusion, suffering, and failure. The image of Joseph finding a place in which the Child could be born was his movement in all of life. Failure simply meant one went on in fidelity and found by failure what God had intended for the fruitfulness of His will.  

August – Mirror of Patience

Patience is willingness to suffer. A patient is one who suffers a malady not by choice whereas a patient man is one who suffers volitionally rather than relinquish the vocation given him. Joseph was patient because of his love. He was willing to suffer anything, even the loss of Our Lady and the Divine Child by being the first to die.

September – Joseph Most Prudent

Prudence is the mother of virtues which depends upon the practical wisdom gained by experience matched with an agile mind to make decisions in the here and now. Each time Joseph knew the will of God he acted decisively, swiftly, and accurately. He acted neither rashly nor timidly, but prudently.

October – Terror of Demons

Demons hate humility, suckled as they are on the vice of pride. Joseph’s humility is what terrifies the demons. He is entrusted with power and authority not simply because of his internal strength but because of his complete reliance upon and fidelity to God.

November – Patron of Dying and Solace of the Afflicted

What a blessed death to see God before you die and for God Himself to tell you to go. This was Joseph’s gift from his Son, who would hand his father over to His Father. Thus has Christ entrusted Joseph to have particular intercessory power for all those on the moment of death.

December – Chaste Guardian of Virgins and Pillar of Families

Due to his chastity and vocation, Joseph has further been entrusted to continue his mission of guarding the pure ones of God and of the integrity of the family. This power flows through him now as a reward of his perfect fidelity. All religious and families should have recourse to this most powerful intercessor.

“Let us love Jesus above all, let us love Mary as our mother; but then, how could we keep from loving Joseph, who was so intimately united to both Jesus and Mary? And how can we honor him better than by imitating his virtues? Now, what else did he do in all his life but contemplate, study, and adore Jesus, even in the midst of his daily labors? Behold, therefore, our model.”
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us!

V. He made him the lord of His household,
R. And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.